If women knew everything possible in their youth, and could do everything they know in their old age

Author: Svetlana Janković

The population is aging and already every fifth citizen is over 65, and there are more women among them. Poverty and neglect within the family are the most widespread challenges faced by members of the third age. Their specific position stems from exposure to various forms of humiliating treatment, marginalization, discrimination and violence. Their vulnerability is intensified during any crisis situation. (For example, in one city at a time when the measures prohibiting the movement of the elderly were in force at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, within 24 hours, the emergency team intervened 17 times out of all the outings to the field, where the cause was domestic violence, and the victims – women.) Crisis situations intensify gender-based discrimination, which becomes permanent, and intersection with other bases of discrimination becomes frequent. In general, the door is wide open to violence and increased general insecurity of women. Violence against women does not stop as they age, but intensifies, becoming less visible at the same time. It would be good if women in their youth knew everything possible, and women in old age could do everything they know, as a Burmese proverb says. Preventing discrimination against elderly fellow citizens must be a moral imperative of our society, because, like many European societies, it is facing a deep demographic aging. Everyone’s moral and civil obligation is not to turn a blind eye, but rather to suppress discrimination against the elderly, to invest in our own, better old age! Also, the dominant approach in the public space must change from “aging as a problem” to aging as “the greatest civilizational achievement”. That is why intergenerational understanding, solidarity, empathy is the basic premise for the only safe future – old age. And women should live life every day, not just on March 8. To live it in its entirety, not as a part. Women drive change, often unconsciously. Women’s struggle is neither appreciated nor recognized, but it is present and more difficult than men’s. In the shadow of everyday events, such struggles remain behind them, often (mis)used irrationally and stereotypically, often as a patriarchal key. The boundaries of women’s positions and statuses are shifting, but they are also imposing new burdens. First of all, evil in its various forms diminishes the importance of past victories, of which today only holidays are left, which are increasingly passing unnoticed. “Injustice spreads faster than a vicious infection when you bow your head in front of it, and it can be suppressed, to some extent, only by unsparing suppression”, said Ksenije Atanasijević. That’s why women, I’m sure, as morally responsible beings, to remain on the battlefield until the last breath, looking at the point of salvation, at the sight where the longing for liberation is born. Multiplicity of established harmony. A brighter future.Happy March 8th!

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